The Forest Department of Manipur Saturday penalised the Public Works Department (PWD) by ordering it to plant 20 saplings for felling a tree in the state capital Imphal without prior approval.
The incident comes a day after PWD cut down a tree planted along the roadside in the city for construction of Foot Over Bridge.
The act of felling tree drew flak after a local newspaper in Imphal reported the incident branding it as total disregard to ‘Chief Minister’s Green Manipur Mission’, an initiative of the Chief Minister of Manipur to preserve and protect the forest areas.
The Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Central Forest Division Imphal said, “The felling of the tree without a permit is against the provision of the “Guideline for Felling Trees from Non-Forest areas of Manipur and order of the Honourable Supreme Court”.
As such, it directed that concerned official of PWD or its representatives to plant 20 saplings at an appropriate location, preferably in greater Imphal. Moreover, it said the location should be alongside a road with proper guards to protect the saplings.
The DFO also directed PWD to pay for the tree felled, as assessed by the Range Forest Officer and the same is to be deposited to Government exchequer in the form of forest revenue. The forest is yet to be fixed the value of the tree.
The DFO also warned PWD of legal action against the erring officials if it fails to submit a report along with photographs after the completion of the plantation by October 5.